The remains of the USS Samuel B. Roberts, a warship sunk during World War II, have been found at record depths in the Pacific Ocean, it was reported during the weekend.
The vessel was discovered off the coast of the Philippines at a record depth of nearly 7,000 meters, the Texas-based Caladan Oceanic, a company which specializes in underwater technology, has said.
The destroyer was wrecked during a battle off Samar Island Oct. 25, 1944, when US forces were attempting to liberate the Philippines, then a US colony, from Japanese occupation.
Lying at 6,895 meters, this is the deepest shipwreck ever located and studied, tweeted Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, who piloted the submersible that found the remains.
The Roberts faced three Japanese battleships, including the Yamato, which was said to be the largest ever built. This little ship took on the best elements of the Japanese navy, fighting them to the end, Vescovo added.
According to US Navy records, the crewmen of the Sammy B were afloat for nearly three days awaiting rescue, many dying from their wounds and from shark attacks. Of the 224 crew members, 89 died. Captain Robert W. Copeland was one of the survivors.
The heroism of her captain and his crew is legendary in the Navy, and it was a great honor to find their final resting place. I think it helps bring closure to the ship's story, for the families of those who were lost and those who served on her. I think the fact that a ship disappearing into the depths, never to be seen again, can leave those connected to the ship with a sense of emptiness, Vescovo told CNN.
The discovery of the ships may help turn the page, and also provide details about the battle that we may not have known before. As we say, 'steel doesn't lie'.
The sinking took place during the days-long Battle of Leyte between Japanese and American forces. The Sammy B was one of four U.S. ships that were wrecked on October 25, 1944.
Vescovo and his team conducted six dives over eight days in search of the ship, as well as another US vessel, the Gambier Bay, which was involved in the same battle. Vescovo's team found the USS Johnston in 2021, which, lying at nearly 6,500 meters, was to date the deepest wreck ever found. The Titanic rests at a depth of about 4,000 meters.